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BAPS Women’s Conference on Balanced Living

In the picture above are: Sonal Bhuchar, Anita Patel, Pratiksha Amin, Jaya Desai, Dr. Sundara Kulkarni, Nidhika Mehta, Dr. Heena Thakkar, Juuhi Ahuja, Mohini Ahuja

STAFFORD: Contributing to the worldwide commemoration of the 101st International Women’s Day, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha celebrated its fifth annual Women’s Conference on Saturday, March 24.  This year’s focus was on the ancient Hindu teachings of the four purusharths (goals of life), which resonated with women within the Indian-American community who work hard to balance various aspects of their personal, career, and social lives.  BAPS hosted an engaging conference with panelists who shared pragmatic applications of the purusharth teachings.  Many Hindu scriptures, including the Bhagvad Gita and Upanishads, speak of discovering a point of equilibrium and balance while making progress through different phases of one’s life.  The conference presented the perfect opportunity for Indian-American women to coalesce these ageless values with practical scenarios from the 21st century.

Following the theme of “Purusharth – Balanced Living,” the dynamic speakers, ranging from business leaders to healthcare professionals led outstanding discussions on the four purusharths, Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. Each speaker brought their own experiences and expertise to help make these life goals more relatable and applicable to the greater audience.  Chief guest,Nidhika Mehta started the conference with a keynote address highlighting some essential practices women can imbibe in their lives to perpetuate a more balanced life. As a truly active member of many Houston organizations, Mehta gave exceptionally applicable advice based on her own extensive experience.

In presenting the Dharma purusharth, Dr. Sundara Kulkarni emphasized all that is encompassed within Dharma.  She noted Dharma’s importance in providing duty, purpose, structure, and order in our lives. She helped the audience understand that dharma is a fundamental purusharth on which the other purusharths are built.  Juuhi Ahuja talk focused on the Artha purusharth. She highlighted, “Hinduism does not ostracize financial and monetary achievements.  It encourages us to reach for the skies while providing guidance to maintain equilibrium in other aspects of our lives.”  With her extensive background in business,  Ahuja used her expertise to give the audience realistic advise.

Aspects of the Kama purusharth, pertaining to balancing fulfillment of desires and observance of self-control as well as the Moksha purusharth, focusing on the true definition of what it means to be liberated were the last two speech topics. Speakers Anita Patel and Pratiksha Amin both presented the topics in such a manner that the purusharths became not only relatable, but even attainable with effort and focus. When asked how she felt about speaking at the event, Patel said, “Being involved in BAPS activities for many years, this was just another way for me to get involved again. I also liked the theme of this year’s conference and wanted to be a part of it.”

With over 500 women in attendance, the conference brought together women from many different backgrounds and ages. Even with such a diverse audience, the conference allowed for each person in attendance to walk away with a new sense of direction and a renewed inspiration about how to live a more balanced life. Dr. Neha Patel from Houston echoed the sentiment expressed by a number of professionals in attendance.  In conveying her thoughts, she said, “Having conferences such as this one, helps foster our culture and open dialogue of Hinduism.” Other attendees were also inspired to use spirituality to bring more balance to their lives.

While many may consider the purusharths something of our scriptures, each of the knowledgeable speakers made the topic relevant and pertinent to life for women of all ages. Expressing her thoughts regarding the focus of the conference, Women’s Conference Lead Shailaja Thakkar  said, “It was wonderful to see so many women in attendance from many different backgrounds to come together to discuss the practical aspects of spirituality to help balanced living.”

The conference concluded with a traditional Hindu prayer for peace as well as an opportunity to network and socialize with one another during a post-conference reception.  Attendees were impressed with the participation of young women in organizing the event and expressed the importance of holding such forums to address issues impacting women.  Many women also felt enriched and inspired by the talks and conveyed their motivation to share the message with their families and friends.

About BAPS

The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), a worldwide socio-spiritual organization in Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, is dedicated to community service, peace and harmony.  Motivated by Hindu principles, BAPS strives to care for the world by caring for societies, families and individuals. Through a number of social and spiritual activities, BAPS endeavors to produce better citizens of tomorrow who have a high esteem for their roots – their rich Hindu culture.  Its 3,300 international centers support these activities of character-building. Under the guidance and leadership of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, BAPS aspires to build a community that is morally, ethically and spiritually pure, and free of addictions.

 

About Pramukh Swami Maharaj

His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the fifth spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, has inspired millions of people across the world to lead a God-centered, morally pure life.  As the present leader of BAPS, Pramukh Swami Maharaj travels from village to village, continent to continent, emphasizing the importance of family harmony, community service and spiritual progress. He embodies the essence of Hindu life.  His compassion for humanity, universal wisdom and striking simplicity have touched many world religious and national leaders.

 

For more information, visit www.baps.org

 

 

 

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